Chapter 3. Automation and Ansible

Ansible is an automation engine that completely automates network functions, cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and other automation needs.

Ansible is designed for multi-tier deployments because it models your IT environment by describing how all of your systems interrelate, rather than just managing one system at a time.

Ansible is easy to deploy because it uses no agents or additional custom security infrastructure. Additionally, it uses the YAML language, in the form of Ansible Playbooks, which lets you describe the automation jobs in a language similar to English.

Ansible engine has two additional optional components:

  • Ansible Tower: Red Hat Ansible Tower enables you to scale IT automation, manage complex deployments, and increase your organization’s productivity. You can centralize and control your organization’s IT infrastructure by using a visual dashboard, role-based access control, job scheduling, integrated notifications, and graphical inventory management. You can also embed Ansible Tower into existing tools and processes by using its REST API and CLI.
  • Ansible Networking Add-on: When Ansible Engine is part of your automation strategy, the Networking Add-on provides support for select network modules that are developed, tested, and released in-house for popular networking platforms. Network modules ensure that operators and engineers have peace of mind, especially in mixed or hybrid network environments that can have differing needs and implementations.